PRT Seeks to Cap Bridge Collapse Claims at $5K

Bridge Collapse $5K Damages

Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) is attempting to reduce the claims brought by a passenger aboard a bus that was on the Fern Hollow Bridge when it collapsed in 2022, asserting to a Pennsylvania court that as a self-insured state agency, it owes no more than $5,000 for medical expenses.

Bridge Collapse $5K Damages : PRT’s Legal Stance

The transit agency, previously known as the Port Authority of Allegheny County, stated in its preliminary objections to Anna Nichols’ lawsuit that Pennsylvania state law shields it from most of the damages Nichols is seeking due to its self-insured status.

“The required first party benefits a self-insured is required to provide… are limited to providing a medical benefit in the amount of $5,000,” PRT’s objections said. “As a self-insured, Port Authority is not required to provide income loss benefits or underinsured motorist benefits to plaintiff.”

Court Filing Details

PRT’s preliminary objections and supporting brief, filed Thursday and Friday in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, respectively, asked the court to strike Nichols’ request that the agency cover her for lost income and for any gaps between her damages and what the other defendants’ insurance might cover.

Bridge Collapse $5K Damages : Incident Background

Nichols was one of the 10 people injured when the Fern Hollow Bridge failed and collapsed into a snowy, wooded ravine in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park on Jan. 28, 2022. Lawsuits against the city, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the engineering and construction firms allegedly responsible for inspecting and maintaining the bridge have been consolidated under her bus’s driver, Daryl Luciani.